I work in a medium-sized company (20~ish employees) in a very large office building. The kitchen has a microwave, coffee maker, and even an espresso machine the CEO donated, and a fair bit of empty space. I bring my lunch in every day, but I find that I really miss the use of a toaster over for reheating or making food that isn't possible with a microwave. I'm wondering if it would be weird or improper to bring in my toaster oven from home. I'm not really willing to give it up completely and would take it back if I ever left. Should I go for it or just suffer microwave food?

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    If you bring any appliance you own to the office, be prepared to see it destroyed by people who will not be as careful as you are, using it. Once you put it in the common break area, it is available for public use. You can not say this is only for my use. May be you can but, you're not gonna make friends with that attitude. And once everyone starts using it, consider it gone. Probably due to the dirt factor, you will not want to take it back home. After all a toaster oven is $20 appliance. Consider donating it to the office and get a new one if you leave.
    – MelBurslan
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:31
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    Or you could just ask the company to buy one.
    – Ben
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:32
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    Also, check with the management as well. Toasters and toaster ovens are appliances that can emit uncontrolled heat and in some cases cause fires. I know from experience. A coworker almost burned down the kitchen because she left a plate of food covered with aluminum foil inside the toaster oven and metal caught fire. So, check with management before you bring any such appliance.
    – MelBurslan
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:33
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    You need to check with your facilities department. Many companies have rules about what (if any) electrical devices can be used in an office environment. Policy will typically be driven by a combination of fire code and the building insurance policy. As your CEO donated some appliances, your company may be more lax in this area but you will still want to get official permission.
    – user48276
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:38
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    @MelBurslan I've seen the same thing with a microwave... 10 minutes (unattended) instead of 10 seconds to warm a sticky bun. The flames were spectacular. Can't believe some people...
    – J...
    Apr 12, 2016 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


I see three options:

1 - Ask the company to buy one, so everybody can use it

2 - Raise funds with your colleages to buy one (we did this with the coffee machine here)

3 - Bring your own, but be prepared to see people use or eventually break it.

Anyway, ask your boss or HR first to see if it is allowed to bring your own stuff to the office.

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    Emphatically: ask first. I've seen my share of fires started by an unauthorized appliance, so I really can't fault employers for being very strict about this.
    – keshlam
    Apr 12, 2016 at 23:55
  • The right person to ask is the facility manager, not your boss or HR.
    – Mohair
    Apr 13, 2016 at 12:52

I'm wondering if it would be weird or improper to bring in my toaster oven from home.

I would think it weird if anyone under manager did this (managers are weird anyway until you become one). Especially if it was not in the greatest condition, and even more so if they retained ownership.

But not so weird that I would care much if someone else did it. I wouldn't use it anyway. So bring it to work if you must, ask permission first.

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    I suppose I feel a little weird about it but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask. If they don't have a valid reason not to allow it I'm sure it would be a harmless addition. I like toaster ovens enough that I can accept being a little weird, as long as it isn't inappropriate or anything
    – Niahc
    Apr 12, 2016 at 20:44

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